Newly published Snapchat exploit could give “hackers” access your name and phone numbers [UPDATE]


Snapchat office Google Glass 20130504_162818_770

While some of us here at Phandroid simply haven’t been able to get into the whole “Snapchat craze,” we know a good portion of the kids these days seem to love it. In fact, with between 10 and 50 million downloads in the Google Play Store, we’d say a good portion of you probably have the app installed on your device.

Guess that’s why the internet seems to be freaking out this afternoon over a recently discovered vulnerability in Snapchat that could allow hackers to easily archive the names and phone numbers of the service’s some umpteen million users.

The exploit was discovered by the Gibson Security firm who — get this — claims they notified Snapchat about the vulnerability back in August. Where Snapchat recently updated their app with fun new features like filters, larger text overlays, and replays, it appears that they’ve simply ignored patching up what could be a pretty serious vulnerability. It’s this lack of communication between the 2 parties that lead to the security firm based in Australia to publish the exploit for all to see.

The worst part? According to Gibson, the exploit could have been patched up with a simple 10 lines of code.


Snapchat has responded to the vulnerability claims in a blog post, essentially calling this exploit a non-issue. While they agree it would be theoretically possible for someone to upload a huge data base of numbers and somehow connect them to user’s accounts, it says it’s extremely unlikely. So much, they’re shrugging off the issue entirely. As it turns out, they claim they’ve already done some work to ensure something like this doesn’t happen, saying:

“Over the past year we’ve implemented various safeguards to make it more difficult to do. We recently added additional counter-measures and continue to make improvements to combat spam and abuse.”


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. oh good I’m not the only person not obsessed with snapchat. I think I’m the only grade 9 at my school who doesn’t use it :P

    1. I put a good effort into using it multiple times, I really have. My biggest frustration is simply not being able to “post” a pic. Instead you have to pick contacts to send a pic to. I don’t know why, but I hate that. I don’t want to bother people with my lunch, Guess I’ll just stick to Instagram. Ha

      1. You don’t snapchat your lunch. You snapchat things that are funny enough to share but too messed up or not appropriate to post on public social media. Like “people of Walmart” or your drunk friend making no sense.

        Or you could always snapchat your little dude if that’s what you are in to.

        1. Ohhhhhhhhh! Okay, I think I’m getting it now. Still, I use Hangouts for that kinda stuff. But then again, there’s a lot of people who aren’t on Hangouts so Snapchat makes cross platform stuff easier. You’re a genius, Butters. Thanks! :D

          1. Haha no problem. I use hangouts to share stuff like that with my brother since he doesn’t have snapchat, but snapchat allows you to get it to more people faster.

            Or do some awesome drawings on top of people. Like d*cks, unicorn horn, spaceman suit, etx

          2. Did you know hangouts Archives everything you send through it? If you go log into your account on the computer you can find every picture you have ever sent through hangouts and I haven’t figured out how to delete them..

          3. You can turn off history on a chat-by-chat basis. Currently, I have no history on a group chat between me and some friends. :P

          4. I shared video of my parents playing cards against humanity with us. May have contained vulgar language….

      2. well they added stories which is where you just post pics to Snapchat

  2. I am being serious now – what is Snapchat?
    (I know I can Google that, I just want to point out that I have no idea what that is.)

    1. Its stupid, don’t bother with it.

    2. Honestly, if you have female friends + snapchat = joyful time. That’s all I have to say.

      1. you forgot to add “if you are in middle school”

        1. Nay, like to act like you are in middle school. You know, not jaded yet.

    3. It’s what the kids these days use to send “self-destructing” pictures of their naughty junk to each other. They think it’s safe, because it’s “impossible” to save for later, but they’d be wrong.

  3. Oh snap!

  4. Anyone that uses Snapchat deserves what they get.

    1. LOL!

  5. damn…now the world will know my name n number when i send chicks d*ckpics

  6. my Aunty Natalie
    recently got metallic Audi RS 5 Coupe just by working online… hop over to
    this site B­i­g­2­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  7. LOL. Is this the “shields up” guy? Is he still trying to get taken seriously? ROFL.

  8. When I think of snapchat, this is the first thing that comes to mind

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